Proverbial psychology

Today’s Independent contains an extract from Taking the Proverbial, a book about the psychology of proverbs by Geoff Rolls.

The extract includes sections from the book which discuss the proverbs “An elephant never forgets” and “Practice makes perfect”. The section about the first includes a nice summary of some animal cognition studies, and the second includes mention of the neuropsychology of motor learning and performing in front of an audience.

This part however, from the section on elephants’ memory, sounds familiar:

Whether [elephants] deserve their status as the memory experts of the animal kingdom is doubtful: they have a serious rival in Clark’s nutcracker bird. The word “birdbrain”, implying limited intelligence, may not be such an insult after all.


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